Funny thing New Year’s resolutions … studies show that every year the majority of Americans make at least one resolution, yet despite our best intentions only about 10% of us actually succeed at these annual attempts of self-improvement.
Which means, of course, that the rest of us don’t.
Last year I proposed that we designate February 1st as “National Mulligan Day” for those of us who might have already blown our New Year’s resolution, to give ourselves one more chance. For those who don’t know, a “mulligan” is when a golfer is allowed to replay a poorly hit shot without having to count the previous misplayed shot. While it’s not really allowed in strict golf, it’s fairly common in casual play … at least with the guys I play with. The nice thing about being able to “take a mulligan” is that it allows you to make a mistake and then to immediately be able let go of it and get right back into the game.
If we could take the mulligan concept and apply it to our lives, think about how much better off we would be. If every time we screwed up, we were able to immediately put the mistake behind us and get right back into the game, imagine how much more we would get accomplished and how much more fun life would be.
With that in mind, I’d like to propose that once again we make February 1st our personal “mulligan” day and give ourselves another chance at succeeding with our New Year’s Resolutions. So if you’ve fallen down (even if it was a big fall) don’t get discouraged, just pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and let’s give it another shot. And don’t be embarrassed – it happens to the best of us … I know only to well.
Pull a Houdini: Instead of sitting on the couch all day watching football, snacking, and drinking wine, escape for a little while and go for a walk. Take someone with you so you can catch up and so you don’t end up looking anti-social.
Wear Your Skinny Jeans: It’s hard to overeat when your pants are already a little tight. Try it – it’ll keep you honest.
Negotiate: If you know that there’s no way you are going to turn down your Nana’s homemade apple pie be willing to give up something else to give yourself some wiggle room. Oh, and exchanging your green beans for a slice of pecan pie doesn’t count.
Be Mindful: If there’s ever a day that you should journal it’s Thanksgiving. And even if you don’t journal everything, at least make sure to keep track of your Blocks.
Pace Yourself. Be careful not to overindulge on snacks all morning long and end up blowing it before you even sit down to dinner.
Be selective: Don’t eat food that isn’t worth it. Ask yourself, “Is it worth the Blocks?”
Use Teamwork: Team up with somebody else who’s also trying to be good so you can help each other be strong.
Be Strong: At some point one of your food-pushing relatives is going to try to guilt you into eating something you don’t want. Stand up for yourself and don’t give in to their peer pressure. If they choose to be disappointed that’s their choice.
“Just Say No” To Seconds. Limit yourself to one plate of food. Remember there’s always tomorrow and if you don’t over-indulge on Thanksgiving you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasure of leftovers on Friday.
Be Persistent (Not Necessarily Perfect): No matter what happens on Thanksgiving Day the key is to get right back onto your diet first thing Friday morning. If you limit your Thanksgiving indulgences to just one day there is only so much damage that can be done.
Wait until October 31st to buy your Halloween candy so that you don’t end up with a bunch of chocolate sitting around your house tempting you for weeks. And then don’t open the bags until the first trick-or-treater arrives at your door.
Give out candy you don’t like. Gummy worms, Pop Rocks, lollipops, Sour Patch Kids – anything that won’t tempt you but that the kids will enjoy.
Try giving out non-candy treats to the kiddos. Get something cool like glow sticks, temporary tattoos, disappearing ink, Lego mini-figures, Hot Wheels or anything you can pick up at the dollar store.
Just say “No.” The first piece of candy is the easiest to turn down. After you give in and allow yourself to have “just one” it often opens the floodgates and the next thing you know you’re halfway through the bag.
Chew some sugarless gum to avoid mindlessly popping miniature candy bars into your mouth – you’ll discover that chocolate isn’t very good when it’s eaten while you’re chewing gum.
Give out more and more candy to each kid as it gets later in the evening and as the trick-or-treating hordes begin to thin out, so that by the end of the night you end up giving it all away. This will have the added benefit of making you the coolest house on the block.
Bring leftover candy to work. If you end up with candy left over come November 1st, bring it to your work and abandon it in the company lunchroom. This will have the added benefit of making you the skinniest one at your office.
Don’t let our guard down too soon. After successfully making it through Halloween we often decide to indulge in a favorite piece or two from our children’s collection and before you know it … So be careful and don’t relax too early.
If things don’t go exactly as planned and you do end up stumbling a little (or even a lot) don’t allow yourself to use it as an excuse to continue to overindulge for the entire week. Just get up, dust yourself off and do better tomorrow. Remember, it’s persistence not perfection that’s going to get you to your goal.